System3 epoxy use/ribs


Curious about Wooden Canoes
Question, the ends of the ribs on a canoe I am going to try and restore are pretty beat up and cracked. I have the book by Thurlow and he mentions using an epoxy product to take care of the cracks in the ribs and make them solid again. I then went online an found the System 3 Dry Rot epoxy system and Sculpt Wood as well. They seem to be the ticket for this job. So my question is : Has anyone used these product or have any other tips for firming up the ends of beat up ribs?

Thanks for any help on this matter!
I have used low viscosity resin per the "book" to "firm-up" ribs tops, and used "wood flour" filler resin (peanut butter) to "repair" voids, both in the end grain and face of the tops of the ribs, but Gil is right, it doesn't look good, as it doesn't match the base material.

Also, if you do this be sure to predrill any holes as the wood with resin can split easily.

The better choice is likely replacing the tips, I just haven't taken the time to do it yet.

Thanks for your reply and sugestions. How about this, cut off the top inch or so and move the entire height of the canoe down 1 inch. Could I replace the inwale/outwale and then just cutoff to height?

The Thurlow and Stelmok book talks about lowering the canoe as an option.

Advantages - easy to do, just clamp the new inwales under the old ones & nail in place. Cut off the tops and ready to go.

Disadvantages - a shallower boat (what is your load/usage?) and a departure from the original design (is this a restoration of a heritage boat?) Depending on the amount of tumblehome, you may need to make new thwarts or it might change the bottom profile.

replacing the rib tops are also pretty easy. When I get home - I think I have some photos to share

Choices are yours - and all are acceptable.
Mike, thanks for all the ideas on this issue. As far as I can deduce the canoe could be a few years old, woven cane seats and copper tacks are a few of the clues. Ex-owner has had it for 30 plus years and bought it from a older gentleman who as far as legend goes did not know much about this canoe or it's maker. No serial numbers and the like on the stem or anywhere else.

As far as vitals goes: she is 13.5 inches deep, 36'wide @ the mid point and 16 feet long

All the thwarts and seats are rotted and as well as the stern stem, other wise she does not have any other rot on her. The old thwarts and gunwales were replaced with a kit and attached with steel screws which are all rusted and of course stuck like hell into the inwale which makes cutting it off and lowering the sides very appealing. The idea of cutting off the tips is somewhat perplexing. How do you get a solid joint and a light tight one for that matter on a rib that is still attached to the canoe and then replicate that same joint on a replacement rib tip?

So any pictures or more of your ideas are welcome as I need all the help I can get.

Thanks jon


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Here are a couple pics and a poor drawing on rib tops and a pic on stem tip replacement.


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MikeCav said:
Here are a couple pics and a poor drawing on rib tops and a pic on stem tip replacement.

Mike, just wondering how you make such a tight joint, matching the old with the new. Hand saw? I've tried this a few times with a (cheap) handsaw and eye-ballin' the angle, with only fair results.
Easiest way is to clamp the new rib top material to the existing rib and then plane a flat bevel across both pieces. Make the new piece a little thicker and wider than you need to give you a little wiggle room to adjust.
Rather than a (cheap) handsaw, use a good Japanese saw or one of the little Shark saws. Think you can get them at one of the home improvement stores.

LAter - Bud
mnpaddler I've been using Systems 3 for years in restorations. It works great for dry work. I think over a period of time in moisture conditions the bond will loosen. I have never seen a break from dry material but your dealing with non porous material bonding to a porous material. They do not make good bed partners in damp conditions.